The Santa Ana Sentinel

For iOS 7, Apple Needs More Than Game Controllers to Win Gaming

Posted in Business, Lumenia Tech, Tech by Omar Ian Ávalos on June 17, 2013

Tech

The sleeper game news out of WWDC last week was that Apple plans to fold actual Apple-baked game controller support into iOS 7 as well as OS X 10.9. Alas, it doesn’t entail an Apple-crafted controller, only third-party licensed game controller support, and yes, iOS already has game controller support courtesy Bluetooth; the difference in iOS 7 involves Apple’s new developmental guidelines and an API that goes hand-in-glove with Apple-blessed products from gamepad-makers like Logitech and Moga. Word from sites like Pocket Gamer is that the new controllers should be available this fall, around the time iOS 7 hits.

We’ve even seen semi-detailed mockups of the controllers, laid out by Apple in its iOS prerelease developer library: a wraparound iPhone 5 shell harboring a d-pad, dual analog thumbsticks and both face and shoulder buttons (that’s it above) as well as a traditional wireless gamepad, presumably angled toward OS X gaming…

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The Santa Ana Register Returns as a Weekly, Starting Tomorrow

For a preview of an article that I contributed to the Santa Ana Register that debuts tomorrow, click here.

The Register informs:

The Santa Ana Register is a new weekly newspaper covering the city of Santa Ana. It will be delivered Thursdays to Orange County Register subscribers. To subscribe, call customer service at 1-877-627-7009.

In addition, a limited number of free copies will be placed in racks Thursdays at the following locations:

Senior Center, 424 W. 3rd St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Carl’s Jr, 3325 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Dino’s Burger, 2217 W. Edinger St. Santa Ana, CA 92704
Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1406 W. Edinger St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Stater Bros, 2630 W. Edinger St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
IHOP Restaurant, 3001 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
CVS Pharmacy, 3907 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Carrows Restaurant, 3355 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Chase, 1300 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Dantes Café, 600 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701
La Chiquita Mexican Food, 906 E. Washington Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Northgate Market, 750 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Martinez Book Store, 216 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Unified School District Headquarters, 1601 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Public Library, 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana City Hall, 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Community Court, 909 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Denny’s, 1258 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
OCR Building, 625 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Amtrak Station, 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Towers, 401 W. 1st St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Rancho De Mendoza, 100 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Taco Pronto, 1714 E. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705Norris Food Market, 601 E. Andrew Place, Santa Ana, CA 92707
Superior Warehouse, 1710 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Delhi Center, 505 E. Central Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Stater Bros., 1230 S. Standard Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92707
KD Donuts, 2102 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Yellow Basket restaurant, 1430 E. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Superior Market, 1730 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Yellow Basket restaurant, 2860 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Santa Ana College, 1631 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Stater Bros., 2603 Westminster, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Super Antojitos, 1702 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Southwest Senior Center, 2201 W. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Polly’s Pies, 2660 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Duke’s restaurant, 2900 W. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Donut Star, 1430 E. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Cowgirls Café, 1720 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Carl’s Jr., 1809 E. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
CVS Pharmacy, 1750 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Medical Center, 1001 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Denny’s Restaurant, 2314 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Knowlwood Restaurant, 2107 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
IHOP Restaurant, 945 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Norm’s Restaurant, 121 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
T-2 Market, 2002 S. Flower St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Bank of America, 2214 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705

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DTSA: How Are We Doing?

Posted in Business, Downtown, Food, Opinion by Omar Ian Ávalos on May 13, 2013

It must be asked. How is Downtown Santa Ana doing? How does it compare to other downtowns? The answer is obvious, (not so well) but let’s take a look at some of the downtown’s strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths

What’s good about Downtown Santa Ana? Original brands. This is one area where the downtown sets itself apart from others. First of a kind restaurants and store brands make the area unique and that is a strength. Some city dwellers don’t want the downtown to lose that uniqueness by coupling more recognizable franchised brands with those newer, unique ones.

The Crosby found success marketing to its niche. Their $2 tacos on Tuesdays are one of the best values in the downtown, and are highly recommended.

There’s only one Chapter One, even though you could say that it is an offshoot of the Library Bar in Downtown LA, the similarities seem like more than just coincidence.

There’s the list of other unique brands; Playground, Little Sparrow, Au Naturaw, Lola Gaspar, etc. And there’s the list of upcoming brands that reveal that this is the trend here. But there still isn’t enough cultural variety, which is common in other downtowns in the LA area.

Weaknesses

So what’s missing here? Much is. We don’t have Italian (remember Trattoria Ciao?), Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mediterranean, Indian, Thai or other cultural eating choices. These varieties are common in other historic downtowns like Long Beach, Pasadena, even Fullerton. We do have these eating choices scattered around town, but it would be great to have them centered in the downtown.

Also, can you imagine having something comparable to Baja Fish Tacos, located at MacArthur and Bristol streets in Santa Ana, in the downtown? They are always packed and have been in business for over fifteen years. How about something like the Kicking Crab across the street? What about upscale Mexican like La Huasteca in Lynwood, or Rosa Mexicano at L.A. Live?

There’s this great Spanish deli, Ole, near MacArthur and Main streets in Santa Ana. Imagine that in the center of town. Why aren’t these great choices around town found in or closer to the downtown? Who is dropping the ball here?

If I represented the downtown (Ward 2) in city government, I’d go after businesses like that and try to attract them there. I live in Ward 5 so worry not.

I’ve only touched on eating in the downtown. Retail has a long, long way to go here.

Food for thought

The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area is defined as Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana. Now, I read somewhere that it’s now being called Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, but it has always been the former, and, Santa Ana is still the county’s seat of government. The area is called it the latter because Anaheim’s population is supposedly higher (not hard to fathom), but, the Census Bureau’s numbers on Santa Ana are likely not precise. Can every single head in Santa Ana truly be counted? That’s impractical especially when we’re one of the densest cities of its size in the country. I read somewhere that our numbers shrunk when I’ve seen nothing but the opposite in the last decade, just look at all of the added classrooms at just about every elementary school, and more and more cars parked overnight.

Isn’t it time that Downtown Santa Ana look and act more like those more cosmopolitan areas? Surely those newly arrived “Santa Anans” that tout the downtown so much want this area to be spoken highly of outside of here. Yes it has some strengths but it’s a must that those weaknesses be worked on.

Let Long Beach and Pasadena be the bar against which this downtown is measured. It’s as historic as those places, and (fact) it was built with the same bricks (Simons bricks*)! Oh, go to Original Mike’s and you’ll see that stamp on those bricks.

*If you’re a history buff and you want to know more about how the LA region was built, read Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past, by USC Professor William Deverell.

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Carlos Slim on Larry King Now

Posted in Business, Education, Mexico, Tech, World by Omar Ian Ávalos on May 10, 2013

Who said there were no Mexican capitalists? Who?

Here is a rare interview with Mexican mogul Carlos Slim, who is Forbes Magazine’s wealthiest man in the world. He’s also Larry King’s boss. He owns the new and upcoming online network, Ora TV, on which Larry King and others have shows. He’s known for his telephony businesses, in which he owns outright or has shares in, including Telmex, Telcel, América Móvil, Straight Talk, Net10, Tracfone and more.

His Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, is an architectural wonder, and it is his Taj Mahal. The museum was built in memory of his late wife, Soumaya.

And part 2

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Santa Ana: In Need of a Real Renaissance

Posted in Arts & Culture, Business, Civics, Editorial, Education, Opinion by Omar Ian Ávalos on April 11, 2013

In a city that is overwhelmingly Latino (upwards of over 80 percent) it becomes necessary for the majority to be reflected in the city’s decision making. Santa Ana is in need of a true organic growth from within, and not from unmeasured transplantation from without.

One area where Latinos are grossly under-represented is in business. We Latinos in Santa Ana have the numbers. We are a numeric and political majority, but we are not an economic majority.

Let me rephrase that. We are not the economic engine. We provide dollars and consumers, but we generally don’t generate the jobs, much less own commercial real estate.

In a city where we’ve faced controversy and battles over gentrification, it is up to those of us that care for this city, and who want to see our majority reflected in all aspects of city life, to become the business class.

We’ve faced problems with what some of us interpret as a transgressive landlord in the downtown at the newly christened “East End.” Well the way to counteract landlords like that is to become one yourself. We need more Latino commercial landlords for every type like the “East Enders.”

Why? Why is it important for us to have our majority reflected in commercial real estate? Because then we decide what gets programmed and housed. We decide what cultural activities and events are appropriate. We decide what businesses get leases.

The way things are setup now, The Yost Theater is not a space reflective of the Santa Ana community, and it is a shame. A former city council facilitated privatizing this historic theater and in doing so took what should have been a historic resource and cultural outlet away from the community.

Arts & Letters

Santa Ana is in need of a real rebirth and it must show in the Arts & Letters. Who is our Langston Hughes? Where is our real literary movement? What can we learn from the Harlem Renaissance?

Why is there talk of building a modern museum of Asian art on Harbor Blvd when it is more than obvious that a Latino-specific museum is in order here?

We need to raise the bar of what is expected of ourselves. A publication like Santanero or the sensationalism of Gustavo Arellano is only a start. We can do better.

It is heartening to learn that Latino high school graduation rates are on the rise, as the Department of Education reports. This should translate in the future to more Latino business and commercial real estate owners.

Sandra Wood, Professor of Sociology at Santa Ana College taught that Latinos would become a numeric and political majority first, prior to becoming an economic majority. We’re 2/3rds of the way there.

That day when we’re an economic majority cannot come fast enough.

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STEAM Program Comes to Century H.S.

Posted in Arts & Culture, Business, Education, Progress Report, Santa Ana College, SAUSD by Omar Ian Ávalos on February 20, 2013

Century High School aims to improve its academic performance through a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) program initiative.

“After being recognized as a persistently low achieving school by the state of CA in 2007 (the API scores in the last 5 years haven’t exceeded 600), Century H.S. has taken many steps to improve the curriculum and clean up the campus in the hopes of attracting higher achieving students. They then applied for a Federal grant for a STEM program, added an arts component, and created 4 academies devoted to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math starting with the 2011-2012 school year. There are currently 80 students in this program.

The problem is that Century is facing is that they have this great program and a lack of awareness. This is where I intend to help. On March 16th, from 9 am to 12 pm Century H.S. is holding an orientation for new parents to show off the various programs that they offer, including STEAM, and this is a great opportunity for them to recruit high potential 8th graders to enroll in Century HS this fall. They have so much to offer, for example they have a 3D printer on campus for the use of their engineering classes, which is incredibly progressive for a high school. I am working on a strategy to help promote this event so that there will be a good turnout and hopefully increased enrollment in the STEAM program,” according to Santa Ana resident Kiko Secor of Ingram Micro, who is a Master’s candidate in the College of Communications at Cal State Fullerton. Ms. Secor is promoting awareness for Century’s STEAM program as part of her thesis project.

For more about STEAM click here.

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Want Variety? Not in DTSA

Posted in Business, Downtown by Omar Ian Ávalos on January 5, 2013

It’s become clear that when earlier Santa Ana city councils thought of reviving the downtown, they thought of recreating Costa Mesa’s “The Lab.” The city enticed business owners at “The Lab” to come to DTSA. The word is that the city gave certain businesses large sums of money to setup shop.

The problem is that they needed to couple consumers for those types of businesses, and those consumers were generally newly arrived as well. There was, never, any intention of marketing to the Santa Ana consumer base.

What’s that? You want proof?

Years ago, before the Proof bar opened, the “Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce” sent out a newspaper called the City Line. I clearly recall reading in that paper that Proof was specifically going to cater to “young professionals from Anaheim Hills, Irvine etc.”

I thought, WHAT THE #%$@?!

How dare they be so blatantly ignorant of Santa Ana locals, and how stupid are they to publish such nonsense without thinking that a local would read it?

Fast-forward and some downtown business owners, or one specific entity, will have you think that all is fine and dandy.

Take for example what this person told the Register.

“Downtown Inc. is pleased to have the question (of) the legality of the assessment of downtown property fully behind it now and looks forward to continued success in revitalizing Santa Ana’s newly vibrant downtown for the benefit of all users and the City as a whole,” said Ryan Chase, the nonprofit’s board chairman.

Orange County Register, January 4, 2013.

I don’t believe it. Why? Because for as long as the Yost theater has been reopened I can count the number of Spanish pop concerts held there that appeal to Santa Ana locals with five fingers. Oh, but I’ve been told that shows like this will occur there. And I am yet to be satisfied.

The House of Blues (Hollywood and Anaheim) gets Spanish rock / pop. El Rey Theater gets it. The Observatory in Santa Ana gets it. The Conga Room DTLA gets it. So many other LA-region venues get it but this one Yost just refuses to.

Note that an older attempt from that venue to bring in something “Latino” failed miserably, and that was when they brought in Norteño music, a genre commonly associated with stories of drug cartels.

Thanks. Because when I think Latino or Mexican music, I think Norteño narco corridos.

Before we continue, know that Santa Ana’s median age is something around 26 or 27 last time I checked. Whoever is promoting the Yost is clearly, clearly, out of touch with this demographic, perhaps even willingly.

Want Eating Choices? Not in DTSA

Do you want to find a, respectable, variety of eating choices coupled with nightlife in Downtown Santa Ana? You won’t find it here.

But you can go to Memphis for a burger, then you can go to Chapter 1 for a variation of a burger, then you can go to The Playground for an overpriced burger.

Am I oversimplifying? Yes. But can I go downtown for Mediterranean? No. Cantonese? No. Indian? No. Five-Star Mexican? No. Sushi? No.

It is absolutely preposterous that in a city like Santa Ana, we don’t have a dining experience like La Huasteca at Plaza México in Lynwood.

Where is the Ward 2 Representative?

It’s said that a city is defined by its downtown and just where the heck is the Ward 2 rep?

I argue that a councilperson representing Ward 2 should get to the task of networking and attracting a variety of businesses to the downtown. To not do that is to allow whatever promoting agency that exists now (Downtown Inc) to use their network or whatever people they know, people that they want, to setup restaurants or businesses catered to non-Santa Ana locals.

In other words, and to put things frankly and bluntly, allow the complete and finalized whitewashing of DTSA.

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Telcel Debuts in the U.S., Campaigns in Santa Ana

Posted in Business, Tech by Omar Ian Ávalos on December 5, 2012

Update:

Telcel América phones and prepaid monthly use cards ($45 and $60 for unlimited international voice and text) are currently available at the Wal Mart on McFadden & Harbor. Telcel América is also available at Santa Ana Radio Shack stores.

Previously

The Mexican cellular networks brand Telcel debuts in the United States under the name Telcel America.

Telcel is a brand of América Móvil, one of Latin America’s leading cellular services providers, owned by the world’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim.

América Móvil already has a years-long presence in the US through its brand Tracfone, a prepaid calling service.

Telcel is campaigning in Santa Ana starting with a billboard on Fairview and Edinger streets, near Centennial Park.

Telcel allows Mexican nationals in the US to contact family in Mexico through prepaid calling services to Mexican wireless lines and landlines. Telcel calls from the US into Mexico are considered “in network.”

For more visit telcelamerica.com

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